Welcome to the world of motherhood; the world of joy and hard work. Reading this means that you’ve made it so far to the adventures of breastfeeding and bottle-feeding.
Sometimes breastfeeding doesn’t get off to a great start. This can happen with premature babies or for some medical reasons.
Whatever the reason is, getting your baby to breastfeed after bottle-feeding can be achieved. All you need is patience when teaching your baby to correctly latch on.
In this article, we’ll give you tried tips on how to get a baby to latch on after bottle feeding.
Maintain Your Breast Milk Supply
Pumping at this time is vital for preventing your milk supply from dropping. Use a breast pump or express your milk by hand, whichever works best for you. For faster and easier pumping, you can use an electric pump.
Don’t Work with a Hungry Baby
A very hungry baby won’t be cooperative with you when you want to teach it a new feeding skill. This could frustrate your little one, and they may refuse your breast.
Plus, babies might associate the frustration of the experience with breastfeeding. Introduce some formula or expressed breast milk first, then try to move to breastfeeding.
Relax, Be Patient, and Take Breaks
A relaxed mom is better able to handle any challenge. Avoid hectic times of the day, and don’t try to breastfeed when you’re tired, hungry, or sleepy.
Also, don’t be frustrated if you don’t make it in the first few attempts. Whenever you feel drained or when your baby is reluctant, don’t press the issue, but don’t give up. Take a break and give it another try when you’re both ready for this challenge.
Treat Any Breast Pain Causes
Maintain Skin-to-Skin Contact
Holding your baby close to your breast in skin-to-skin contact is known to encourage your baby to breastfeed. Try to maintain this position without pressuring your little one to latch on.
It’ll also help both of you relax and give your attempts a better chance of success. Just make sure it’s not too cold for the baby; a blanket hugging both of you can make a big difference.
Choose the Right Breastfeeding Position
Choosing the right breastfeeding position can have a positive impact on your attempts to get your baby to latch on. Sitting in a reclining position and placing your baby’s head between your breasts can help your baby root for the breast and latch on comfortably.
Let Go of the Pacifier
Another tip is to try and find other ways to comfort your baby other than the pacifier. Pacifiers encourage your baby to use a different sucking technique from the technique used for breastfeeding. This can confuse your little one when trying to latch onto your breast.
Pacifiers also reduce the baby’s need for sucking at the breast to soothe himself.
Replace Bottle-Feeding with Cup or Finger Feeding
With bottle-feeding, the baby doesn’t need as much sucking to get the milk from the bottle, even with low-flow bottle nipples. That’s why cup or finger feeding can help you by using the bottle less often.
Carefully use an open cup, not a sippy cup, to give the baby some milk to take off the edge of hunger. Then move the baby to your breast.
Finger feeding can be done by giving the baby milk through a feeding tube taped to your finger. Your baby sucks at the tube along with your finger. Similar to the cup feeding method, you try to breastfeed the baby after getting a little milk.
This method has two benefits. First, your baby won’t be hungry and cranky. Plus, the feel of the skin of your finger resembles the feel of your nipples.
Another method to consider is the supplemental nursing system. This is similar to finger feeding. But instead of attaching the tube to your finger, attach it to your breast and let the baby suck at the nipple.
Use Silicone Nipple Shields
A nipple shield resembles the taste and feel of a bottle nipple. Covering your breast with a nipple shield will make the transition to the breast much easier.
Express some milk and fill the nipple shield with some milk before you put it on your breast. This will stimulate your baby’s sucking and may improve your chances of getting the baby to latch on.
Make Sure You Have Enough Breast Milk
Having a reasonably full breast can be rewarding for your baby. You don’t want the baby to exert too much effort to receive a little milk. However, an overly full breast may be difficult for your baby to latch onto.
Choose a Quiet Time and Place to Breastfeed
Choosing the right time is essential for the success of this mission. A sleepy baby can be easier to teach how to breastfeed. Sit in a quiet room to avoid distracting the baby. Use your favorite pillows to propel yourself and enjoy quality time with your little one.
When Bottle-Feeding, Finish at the Breast
You can try to switch to the breast after giving your baby some milk from a bottle. Finishing the feeding session at your breast will get the baby to associate feeling full and comfortable with nursing from your breast.
Seek Professional Help
A lactation consultant’s advice can be very beneficial. The consultant will listen, monitor your breastfeeding technique, and walk you through this challenging time.
In a Nutshell
Being a mom is no easy task!
Getting your baby to latch on may feel a bit overwhelming and challenging at first. With a few tips and some patience, you’ll get the hang of it!
It’s important to remind yourself that you’re doing your best for your little one.
Relax, take baby steps and enjoy every moment of this journey.